3.5: Disability Accommodations

As outlined on the Office of Accessible Education (OAE), Stanford University has an institutional commitment to providing equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  To provide equality of access for students with disabilities, accommodations (including auxiliary aids and services) will be provided to the extent necessary to comply with state and federal laws.  For each student, these accommodations will specifically address those functional limitations of the disability which adversely affect equal education opportunity. 

Medical students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the OAE. Professional staff within OAE will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The Associate Dean of Medical Student Affairs serves as the liaison with the OAE and is available to assist in the facilitation of accommodations. coordinates with the Office of Accessible Education to facilitate accommodations.

Student Responsibilities

Each student bears the responsibility of initiating a disability-related request for accommodations with the OAE prior to the time such an accommodation is needed.  In addition, and more specifically, it is the responsibility of the student to:

  • As early as possible, register with the OAE and submit documentation of disability as a prerequisite to receiving accommodations.
  • Notify the OAE immediately when an accommodation is not being provided correctly.
  • Notify the OAE immediately when discontinuing an accommodation  (e.g., notetaking) or dropping a course for which alternate format materials are required.
  • Provide timely notification to faculty of approved accommodations by submitting the OAE Accommodation Letter.
  • Provide for personal disability-related needs or services such as “personal care attendants,” transportation off campus, housekeeping, golf cart rental, wheelchair repair, etc.
  • Meet the same standards—academic, technical, performance and behavior—expected of all Stanford students.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Notify students that accommodations are available.
  • Refer Students with Questions about Accommodations to the OAE
    • Do not seek to arrange accommodations by yourself with the student.
  • Protect Student Privacy and Confidentiality
    • Maintain student confidentiality and treat all disability-related information as confidential.
    • Although faculty do not have the right to ask about the nature of the disability, if students choose to disclose their disability, this information should be treated confidentially.
    • Refrain from identifying the student with a disability in class or openly discussing accommodations or disability issues in front of others.
    • Meet privately with a student when presented with and reviewing the Accommodation Letter.
  • Collaborate with Student and OAE Staff in Arranging and Providing Accommodations
  • Consult with the OAE staff if the academic accommodation(s) recommended appear to violate the goals or requirements of the course.  Recommended accommodations are open for negotiation.
  • Permit the Use of Approved Accommodations
    • Provide accommodations only to students who are registered with the OAE and who have submitted an Accommodation Letter.

updated August 2023